Posted March 26, 2015 by

Helpful Tips for Recent Grads With Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt concept

Student loan debt concept. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Recent graduates have reasons to be excited about their prospects in life. You are hopefully now on track to start your professional life and career. To get off on the right foot financially, it is definitely in your best interest to keep on top of your student loans because you don’t want to get in default or delinquency of your account. If you default on your student loan, it can have dire consequences for your financial future. Taking the appropriate steps now can make a huge difference down the road for you financially. There are a number of things you can do to make sure your student loans don’t become a problem.

Know your debt – You should know the total amount of the principal of the loans. Interest for is calculated separately for each loan, so it is good to be aware of what rates each of your loans are set at. You’ll also want to know exactly how much you owe for each payment.

Know when payments are due – You should always know when your payments are due; the due date should be the same each month. Plan ahead and prepare so that you know you can make your payments in time each month. Do whatever you can to ensure you do not default on your loans. In most cases your lenders will work with you and even in the worst circumstances, with no ability to immediately repay, social programs and even disability claims can be used to your advantage. Don’t ignore your student loans no matter what the case may be.

Know your grace period – You should be familiar with the grace period allowed for your student loans. You should also be aware of the policies of the lender(s) concerning inability to pay, or other circumstances that might affect your life.

Keep in contact with lender – Don’t fall out of contact with your lender. Don’t ever ignore any of their attempts to contact you. No matter what the circumstance you face, they will work with you to resolve your student loans.

Lower your principal – You can pay the principal directly and deal with your interest rates later; you don’t necessarily have to pay your interest off first. Lowering your principal first will help you lower your long-term interest rate’s bite.

Consolidate – You have the choice of consolidating your loans to simplify the process. Consolidating your loans can be done through the lenders you are working with, or you can use private consolidation services (they have these online).

Loan forgivenessLoan forgiveness can be available under some circumstances. Check with your lender to see if you qualify for any loan forgiveness programs that they may have in place.

Pay off most expensive loans first – If you are paying off your loans without consolidation, you can choose to pay off the most expensive loans with the highest interest rates first to help you down the road.

Pick the right repayment option – Your student loan provider will give you different options to pay your student loans; you should take advantage of anything that works in your favor. Become familiar with your options.

Calculate your tax deductions – last but not least, you should take advantage of any tax deductions and explore your tax benefits in general.

Don’t worry excessively about your student loans. There are solutions for your problems whatever they might be, if you have them. The lenders will work with you and consider your circumstances while you work out repayment with them. You may be given options as to your payment period, but it is generally not wise to increase it as your interest rates will cause you to lose money. If you do your part in knowing your options and being prepared, you won’t need to worry about your student loans and will secure your financial future.

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